Line Fence Tips

After the shared drive the next most contentious issue found would be fences. The seemingly sedate legal area of fencing can give to surprising emotion between adjoining land owners.  It was even listed as the motivation in a 1937 murder case. Fence law surprisingly involves a wider range of law including several provinical statutes, many municipal by-laws and even judge tort law.  But for reasons of brevity I am only going to deal with the essence of the law.

Provincially the line fences act (LFA) seeks to provide a standard regime for resolving disputes over erection, repair and removal of line fences.  These are fences erected on the line between properties.  If you build a fence on your own property the cost and upkeep fall entirely on the property owner and are subject to municipal by-laws.  The rule of thumb on line fences is when you srand in front of your fence the right half is yours.  When you deal with adjacent municipal land they will erect a 4ft. chain link fence and should you require an improved fence you are responsible for additional costs.  I believe this to be  the LFA base as well.  Not all municpalities are regulated by the LFA as they are allowed to opt out.  But they are required to pass their own by-laws on the subject, so you would be prudent to make  preliminary inquires.

In the event of a dispute you are entitled to an arbitrator to resolve the confllict.  An arbitrator has the power to enforce their decision.  In the event you feel the problem cannot be resolved with your neighbours, you need to contact your municipal fence viewers.  Their will be a charge of approximately $300.00  in our area.  This charge will be divided between the property owners as the viewer deems fair.  Please bear in mind in our area there shall be no arbitration or proceeding requiring the attendance or re-attendance of fence viewers between November 1st and the 31st day of March.  Often in the interest of harmoney, it is easier to just comply with your neighbour's wishes.  There may be extenuating circumstances - age, money, absent  or a number of good reasons, but if you feel you are being taken advantage of by someone with poor understanding of the law - you have strong recourse.

Harold Pope

Harold Pope

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 New Age Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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